Rapes and torture follow commission visit to Bor Gazi Bil and Ra Bai La, Quran desecrated

December 14, 2016

Six men were arrested and brutally tortured for speaking to the investigation commission in the destroyed village tract of Bor Gazi Bil in Maungdaw North. Members of the commission visited the area on Monday at around 10am, when many of the locals disobeyed orders and related the carnage unleashed by the Tatmadaw since last month. As soon as the commission left, the Tatmadaw rounded up six of the men who were acting as the interpreters between the locals and the government officials.

The arrested men have been identified as Zafar Hossain (72), Bashir Ahmed (70), Abul Hashem (53), Md Salam (50), Saddam (17) and Abu Siddique (15). They were taken to custody and severely tortured. Relatives are fearing for their lives.

One of the woman who had told the commission how the soldiers had raped them was also hunted down. She was forced to apologise on video and had to give the statement that all her allegations were fake.

After that, the army got hold of three women and gang raped them.

The commission members had earlier visited nearby Ra Bai La. After they had left, the Tatmadaw and Hlun Htein entered the village tract where they raped at two minor girls and a mother of three children and brutally beat up more than 15 others on Monday morning.

When the force entered the village tract, all the women tried to run for safety but around 20 of them were caught from a house where they had hidden. Soldiers dragged them out of their hiding places and beat them mercilessly with bamboo sticks. Three of the women were taken to a secluded spot and gang raped one after another.

Since the first week of this month, many women in Ra Bai La were raped and sexually abused on a daily basis. Soldiers routinely entered the village tract, herded more than a hundred women, took them to an open field and forced to strip. Some would be singled out for gang rape. The similar practise continued in nearby Sa Li Frang for a week.

The area along with Bor Gazi Bil and Sau Ra Gazi Bil was pounded with helicopter gunships, heavy artillery and rocket launchers on November 12 and 13 killing at least 150 people, many of them women and children. Since then, the Tatmadaw continued to arbitrarily arrest and torture the men, while the women were sexually abused and raped.

Soldiers started the carnage when Rohingya protesters armed with sticks prevented a Tatmadaw team from carrying out rapes. Since the beginning of the conflict, the army had continued to insist the Rohingyas from that area hand over women to them.

In another incident, an army team entered Saung Khaw La Para on Tuesday morning. As they entered the area, many of the women fled, but around eight of them were found in a house where they had hidden. The women were taken to a room in turns, and raped by multiple men.

In the evening, soldiers went house to house and raped four more women. One of them fled from the soldiers and hid in a paddy field, but the men found her and raped her on the spot. She was also brutally beaten up.

At the same time, soldiers found three elderly men in their houses, who had not run away as they were too weak to do so. The elderly men identified as Saar Ahmed (70), Zahid Hossain (71) and Doliya (75) were brutally beaten up and received serious injuries from the assault. They are currently in critical condition.

In the night, the soldiers stayed in a local mosque. Here they desecrated the Quran, tore out pages from the holy book and kicked it outside the mosque so that the entire village could witness the incident.

During the raid, the soldiers fired in the air to spread panic among the Rohingyas. Many of the houses were also looted.

There are also reports that two women were gang raped in Kya Maung on Tuesday morning. The victims are sisters.

Locals also discovered a corpse with hands tied behind his back near a creek in Yay Myet Bil. The nature of his death suggests he was killed after being arrested. Many of the arrested Rohingyas have had their eyes gouged out, hands cut off and subjected to brutal torture leading to fears the death toll could be higher than currently reported, as many of the arrested men are likely to die a slow and painful death.

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